AFGHAN REFUGEE UPDATES

Week of September 25

The focus this week has been education and updating paperwork for SNAP and WIC to reflect the addition of the new daughter. We are so fortunate that our PHUMC volunteer team includes members with experience in ESL training, literacy training and tutoring experience for elementary students. This team is working out a schedule for English classes for the parents and tutoring and English training for the children. We see significant progress in their English but for them to thrive in our country additional work is needed. Paperwork, paperwork, none of us like this but helping the family with the paperwork for programs such SNAP always requires attention. These benefit programs though are critical for this family so follow through on these administrative areas is a must.

As always, your team appreciates your prayers and support. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of September 19

After the excitement in the birth of the new baby and the start of the school year our family is settling in to a more routine and comfortable schedule. In the past couple of weeks members of our PHUMC team have attended Grandparents Day with the three boys and Book Fairs. We are beginning to see all the children use more English words. The four-year-old in pre-K gets in the car and says Ready, Go. He also reminds us to go at green streetlights. While training him on English, we are also developing a back seat driver.

The new infant girl had her first appointment with the pediatrician this week and she had gained weight and got a very positive report from the doctor. The mother looks so relieved to have the pregnancy behind her and she beams when looking at any of the children. The family is happy and healthy and our PHUMC team feels such joy to see the family doing well.

Our next big milestone will be a successful drivers test and the ability to teach the father to drive. David from our team will take the husband/father to the DMV for testing soon and he has also volunteered to teach him as well. It takes all kinds of volunteers and skills and resources. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of September 12

Dedication and boundless love are the words to describe the five team members on the baby arrival committee. While other members carried out their regular work of transporting folks to the hospital and school, these five helped welcomed our family’s first daughter and first American citizen! Baby girl was born Friday at 3:07 AM after a lot of work from mom. Carol spent 22 hours supporting mom and dad in the birthing process, navigating the sometimes difficult nature of a hospital with persistence and compassion. Brenda, Bonnie, Jenn, and Karen were responsible for caring for the three boys at home. Meanwhile the babysitters were helping with meals, homework, evening routines and one child having a low-grade fever. That meant a child home from school during the day that was not anticipated. Every woman mentioned handled the ups and downs of these days with aplomb. Kuddos to them and you need to know, the children love them.

Another busy week for dedicated volunteers of the Afghan mission team! Please continue to hold this family in your prayers and support the mission of this team with your donations. This is a fabulous and generous group of people who are overseeing the children’s’ education, bringing them food, tutoring them in English, and loving them. Thank you all for your concern and support of this family. As always, your team appreciates your prayers and support. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of September 5

Thanks to 8 young men (several who are PHUMC members) who took it upon themselves, with the help of a wonderful mother, to try to teach the three Afghan children the rudiments of basketball.  All eight watched a video about Afghan culture and discussed it with the organizing mom, Heather. They greeted the Afghanis with ‘Salam’ and spent 1 1/2 hours playing basketball, kick ball and riding around the PH gym on wheeled vehicles. Everyone had fun. The ‘big’ boys want to get together again with the ‘little’ boys and Sajad, the middle child, asks when they’re going to play basketball every time I visit the house.  What a success for all!

Our mom is now over-due in delivering their baby girl.  The PH team will act as grandparents.  Carol will get mom and dad to the hospital while others on the team will babysit.  Who knew what tasks we would take on when we signed up for this mission.

The kids are back in school and adjusting to a world where no one speaks their language. Can you imagine spending 6-7 hours a day in an environment where you have no idea what is being spoken?!  Brave little people!

This is a fabulous and generous group of people who are overseeing the children’s’ education, bringing them food, tutoring them in English, and loving them. Thank you all for your concern and support of this family. As always, your team appreciates your prayers and support. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of August 15th

The Afghan family team is growing. Thanks for PHUMC members who have felt the call from these newsletters or Sunday school visits and have joined us. School starts next week for all three boys so the team has been busy acquiring school supplies, clothes and transportation plans. There have been registrations, orientations and planning with all the family members and team.

Mrs. S is having weekly visits now with her midwife and Carol Isom is the designated team member who will get mom and dad to the hospital sometime around September 4th. Other team members will stay home with the boys and get them meals, to school, whatever they require. We are the family’s family in this important time.

Mr. S has taken a second job to help with the cost of living in Arkansas. He will take his written portion of the driver test soon and will then prepare for the practical test. A car, which our congregation will provide, will add other costs to their budget. It is a continuing time of change and adjustment.

Thank you all for your concern and support of this family. As always, your team appreciates your prayers and support. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of August 1st

S will be showered with wonderful, and in some cases, never seen before, gifts on Friday. The PH women of the team will be present to explain what some items are and how they will make her life easier.

This week the team developed a baby delivery plan. We have shared with mom and dad who will get them to the hospital and who will be babysitting their three boys while they welcome baby girl into the world. Delivery date is a month away. We were relieved to learn the boys like mac and cheese. We weren’t sure we’d know what to prepare them for meals. We still don’t know what they eat for breakfast and lunch but we have a month to figure that out. Isn’t it amazing and sad that they won’t have their grandparents here to care for the boys and welcome the new one to the world?!

The team will have a table at the Connect Fair to share our mission and we hope to recruit you to service! Brenda Mize has offered to share our mission with your Sunday school class. Please contact her so you can become part of this church effort. 12 people are all the represent our church to this family. Don’t you feel the need to help?

Thanks again for your continuing support of this mission! As always, your team appreciates your prayers and support. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of July 18th

The baby gift registry has been fulfilled. Woohoo!! Thank you to everyone for their generosity. We have created a special baby fund connected to our family fund to accommodate all the members who wished to give a gift for the shower but missed that opportunity. Just write “baby fund” in the memo line. Remember, families may not use SNAP benefits for diapers, wipes, clothing, and other non-food items so this fund will greatly help the family. We will also ask the mom if we missed something she needs for her baby and will use those funds to provide it.

And of course, we are continuing to seek support in accumulating funds for a family car when Mr. S has his driver’s license.

Thanks again for your continuing support of this mission! As always, your team appreciates your prayers and support. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

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